To Kansas City, Memorial Day 2021

Fountain Loose Park by Amrita Burdick

By Amrita Burdick

By Amrita Burdick

City of Fountains,

Are you weeping,

This day of remembrance?

What seeds have grown to harvest

From the “blighted” soybean field

You purchased and leased

To build nuclear arms to destroy?

Oh, you say,

“But we never use them.

Nuclear weapons are just for deterrence.”

These weapons steal the funds

Needed to feed the children,

Build the roads,

Support the social fabric of our nation.

The “non-nuclear” parts

Leave a trail of wounded workers

Dying early from cancer —

And yet another toxic site

That may never be redeemed.

Oh, weeping city,

You thought that investing to bring jobs

Would bring prosperity.

Have you forgotten?

“Those who live by the sword

Will die by the sword.”

Concourse Fountain at Benton Blvd. and St. John Ave.—Photo by David Remley for KC Parks and Recreation Department

Do you see, oh City of Fountains–

As you add deaths one by one

From city homicides —

You harvest the same violence

You endorsed by placing

Employment and economy

Above justice and peace?

Oh, City that weeps:

If you want peace,

End the culture of violence.

—Amrita Burdick, of Kansas City, Mo., is a longtime PeaceWorks-KC member. This poem was published on the Progressive Hub at

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Man hanging origame peace cranes.